As an NYC PR agency, we understand fully the demanding editorial schedules of top tier press in the media capital of the world. Each month major editors at magazines such as Conde Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure, Forbes and Fast Company, are under tight deadlines to produce the next issue. Editors and journalists at leading dailies like The New York Times are often under even greater time constraints.
That being said, we make sure to take the media’s production schedule into account when we know we have clients visiting New York City for deskside meetings. Often, our clients will let us know two months in advance when they have a trip planned – giving us ample time to conduct outreach. On other occasions when a last minute trip is planned, we may only have a couple of weeks to secure meetings. Either way, we have a proven track record when it comes to securing face time, which is essential in building awareness for our client’s brands and solidifying their brand’s relationship with key media.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when scheduling deskside meetings, whether you have long lead-time or only a couple of weeks to plan.
1. Personalized Communication – When reaching out to the press in your initial emails and phone calls, be sure to personalize your note, so that they understand why they should meet with your client and why they should meet with them now. Focus on what’s newsworthy and highlight the information that is relevant to their audience. For instance, pitching a meeting for a travel company CEO to Forbes is different than pitching a meeting with Travel + Leisure. Let the press know that you understand what they cover, mentioning recent articles they’ve written that relate.
2. Persistence is Key – Don’t hesitate to follow up. Sending one email and leaving one voicemail is never enough. Often, phone communication is key, so continue to reach out until you get your target press on the line. They may be in the midst of a heavy production cycle and may ask you to circle back as you get closer to the dates (this happens frequently). The point is to make sure that a potential meeting opportunity and your client are on their radar.
3. Convey Respect for their Time and Follow Up Appropriately – While persistence in follow up is key it is essential to convey your respect for journalists’ busy schedules when following up. If they let you know they are under a tight deadline or are unsure of what their schedule will be when your client is in town, ask when the best time would be to circle back. Follow up appropriately and you are bound to have success.